Personnel: Daniel Santiago (guitar); Marcio Bahia (drums).
Audio Mixer: Daniel Musy.
Liner Note Authors: Hamilton de Holanda; Marcos Portinari.
Recording information: Tenda Da Raposa, Rio De Janeiro, Brazil (06/2005).
Photographer: Rafael Dietzsch.
Arranger: Daniel Santiago.
Although it weighs in at just over a half-hour, On the Way is an impressive solo debut from the Brazilian jazz guitarist Daniel Santiago. A member of mandolinist Hamilton de Holanda's quintet, the Rio-based Santiago, who plays acoustically, works here with bassist Andre Vasconcellos and drummer Marcio Bahia on a set of songs composed and arranged by Santiago; the guitarist also co-produced, along with de Holanda and Marcos Portinari. The album, reportedly cut over a mere few days without rehearsal, aims to showcase Santiago in a multitude of settings and spans a gamut of environments, skipping directly from the rhythmic and ebullient opener, "Viewpoint," to a pair of moodier, more relaxed pieces, the title track, and "Memory." Santiago's intuitive interactions with his musicians are never less than striking, while drummer Marcio Bahia, in particular, displays an acute sense of split-second timing, not only following Santiago's frequent rhythmic and melodic shifts with ease, but leading the guitarist into tributaries he might not otherwise have drifted. On "Tribute to Baden" (that would be Baden Powell, the revered Brazilian composer/musician), Santiago hints at flamenco with his bold flourishes, while "Homesick," which follows it, finds the guitarist repeating a looping, circular pattern that shapes into a trance-like ambience. Santiago is undeniably a technical wiz kid, but more importantly, his music leaves an emotional mark. ~ Jeff Tamarkin